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Question Jury Duty: The year is 2006. Darius, a social worker in his mid- twenti

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Psychology | 0 comments

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Jury Duty: The year is 2006. Darius, a social worker in his mid- twenties has been selected to jury duty in the major city where he lives. The case he’s been selected for revolves around the murder of a bartender by firearm at a small local night club, The Main Vein. Over the course of two days, Darius hears the case along with his fellow jurors. The night club was fairly crowded on a Friday Night. Music was playing loudly, the bar was filled with a haze of cigarette smoke(Legal at that time), and people were socializing as usual. Suddenly a gunshot rang out. One of the bartenders, a large man in his twenties, lay bleeding behind the bar. The crowd erupted in frenzied screams as people rushed to exit the bar. The bartender who was shot deceased when the authorities arrived soon thereafter. These facts were stipulated by both the prosecution and the defense. The prosecution began its case with two key eye witnesses. The first was the victims(bartenders) girlfriend who was behind the bar with him at the time of the shooting. She testified that there were several people crowding the bar drinking and getting service, when suddenly she saw a pistol emerge from between patrons and fire a single shot. Panicked she dropped to the floor and saw that her boyfriend had collapsed. She testified that he was bleeding and began coughing up blood. She shouted to him but he did not respond though she could not say whether that was due to his condition or if he simple could not hear her due to the noise level in the bar. After a few moments she suddenly saw a young man slide over the bar landing behind. She testifies that this young man raised a gun fired two shots into the wounded bartender and leapt back over the bar to the other side. The victims girlfriend sobbed as she described seeing “the light go out” in her boyfriends eyes. The prosecution hands her a binder that she was previously shown by police. This binder contained facial photographs of over 60 men roughly matching the description of the defendant. Unprompted, the witness identified the defendant as the man she saw jump behind the bar and fire the final shots. Cross examining this witness the defense attorney asked about another detail in her initial report to the police. She had reported that the initial shot had come from a tall man with long braided hair. She acknowledge that she had reported this but said that she may have been mistaken because the bar was crowded with patrons at the time. She reiterated that she was certain the defendant was the one who jumped over the bar and fired the final shots. Witness: The Patron The prosecutions next witness was a young female patron who was present at the bar during the shooting. This witness testified that she was sitting at a high-top table butting up against the wall opposite the bar at the time the initial shot sounded. This was a distance of about 20 feet from the bar. The wall at which she sat and the bar stood perpendicular to the front wall of the building, where the entrance was located. The witness stated that she and a friend had just arrived and sat down, and that she was waiting for her friend to return from the restroom before the two of them would order drinks. Before her friend returned, however, the initial gunfire rang out. This witness testified that she took cover under her table as she watched the bulk of the patrons stampede to exit the building. She testified that perhaps a minute later, when the room had mostly cleared, she saw a young man enter the front of the building holding a handgun, run and slide over the bar, fire two shots, jump back over the bar, and run out of the building. She testified that she would identify this young man because she knew him – he was a cousin of hers. The man she identified was the defendant. The police used this information to place his photo among the binder full of several dozen photos, which they then used to obtain a positive ID from the victims girlfriend. During cross-examination, the defense attorney asked if she had consumed any alcohol on the night in question; she responded that she had not, and that the incident occurred before she had a chance to do so. The attorney asked about her relationship with her cousin, whom she identified as the perpetrator; she acknowledge that she did not know him well, but that she had seen him at a family gathering only a few weeks before the incident. The defense attorney asked why she had taken so long to come forward to report her testimony to the police; she responded that she had been reluctant because she feared for her own safety. Forensic Expert Next, the prosecution called a forensic expert to the stand. Her expertise was stipulated by the defense. The forensic expert testified that one 9mm bullet was found lodged in the wall behind the wall behind the bar. Two more were found in the back of the victims body. The forensics expert testified that these latter two bullets were flattened, consistent with impacting a hard surface and coming to a sudden stop. She elaborated that this would happen in the base where the victim is up against a hard surface, such as the floor. The defense chose not to cross-examine this witness. The Dectective The prosecution called the detective in charge of the case to the stand. The detective testified to the details of the investigation. And the process by which the defendant was settled on as the primary suspect. The defense attorney asked the detective if it was true that initially their theory was that there were two shooters. The detective replied that this was in accordance with the initial report given by the victims girlfriend soon after the incident, but that later evidence, including the second eye witness, clarified their understanding of the incident. The defense asked if a murder weapon had ever been found; the detective replied that it had NOT been found. The prosecution rested, and the defense rested without calling a single witness. Closing Statements The prosecution reviewed the case against the accused. The prosecuting attorney highlighted that two separate eye witnesses who did not know each other and who were at different vantage points, identified the same man as the killer. The attorney also noted that the forensic evidence was consistent with these testimonies and that these testimonies were consistent with each other. The prosecution concluded by explaining that even if there were two shooters as initially thought, the actions of the defendant in re-entering the bar to fire additional rounds at the victim constituted pre-meditation and led directly to the victims death. Finally the defense attorney remarked upon lack of physical evidence brought by the prosecution, especially the lack of a murder weapon. Darius and the rest of the jury were given final instructions by the judge, and escorted back into the jury room to decide on the fate of the defendant.
As someone with a background in psychology, you (Darius) have been chosen to be the foreman for this jury, organize the jury’s thoughts on whether the defendant should be found guilty or innocent.
This particular jurisdiction requires a jury to submit a court document that summarizes the verdict process. Therefore, you will need to provide a Word document to the judge explaining the thought process of the Jury during deliberation for the court to file away as part of the official verdict

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